Two new Gamma
Cameras installed at Sharon Regional Health System
Sharon Regional Health System's Heart Center and Medical Imaging departments
recently installed the newest technology in nuclear medicine gamma
cameras. The two new Forte ™ nuclear medicine cameras enable physicians
to provide quicker, more accurate diagnoses by allowing them to see
the physiology rather than just the structure of the heart, brain
and other organ systems. The gamma camera systems, which utilize the
latest in advanced technology and are valued at $1.5 million, are
the newest dual- head camera systems made by ADAC Laboratories of
California, the market leader in gamma cameras.
"This unit is a tremendous asset to us in the rapid diagnosis of underlying
heart disease, the number one killer in the United States, " stated
James Landis, M.D., cardiologist and medical director of Sharon Regional's
Heart Center. "This further positions our Heart Center in the leadership
role in bringing the newest technology in cardiac diagnostic services
to our patients. The enhancement of our cardiology program with the
ADAC cameras is another of the many examples of raising our Heart
Center's capabilities to the highest levels possible, as we continue
the development of our Heart Institute."
Sharon Regional's Heart Institute, set to open next summer, will include
open heart surgery, coronary angioplasty, rotoblator and high-risk
Based on the Heart Center's high number of patient visits, ADAC has
chosen Sharon Regional as its east coast clinical site for this camera.
Cardiologists and other staff from hospitals throughout the east coast
are actively visiting Sharon Regional for demonstrations and clinical
applications of this new imaging system.
For Medical Imaging, monoclonal antibody studies to help detect cancers
and blood clots and brain SPECT scans to study the vital flow of blood
to the various regions of the brain are new procedures available with
the system as well as all nuclear medicine studies performed by the
previous unit, according to Paul Smart, M.D., interventional radiologist.
While both systems can perform all nuclear medicine studies, the Heart
Center's unit is used primarily for Myocardial Perfusion Imaging for
stress testing, as well as to determine the ratio of living heart
muscle to damaged tissue.
One of the additional benefits of the new cameras is the openness
that allows greater comfort for the patient and ease for the technologist
performing the scan.
The cameras also reduce the amount of time that each patient must
spend having a procedure by 50 percent allowing test results to reach
the physician more rapidly. The cameras position their detectors in
a variety of directions. This allows patients to be imaged in the
most comfortable positions (sitting, standing, lying face-up, face-down
or semi-upright) even accommodating patients on a stretcher or hospital
bed. The technologist has complete access to the patient while the
patient's head remains comfortably outside of the camera. This flexibility
particularly benefits those patients who suffer from claustrophobia.
In nuclear medicine studies, small amounts of tracer substances are
administered to a patient and are absorbed by various organs of the
body. The gamma camera detects and maps the distribution and concentration
of the substances in the area to be studied. The information is then
fed to a computer, which creates and displays a detailed, functional
image of the specific organ or area.